Attacking in the Alapin Sicilian

So I did a previous blog on attacking in the Hyper-Accelerated Dragon:

which followed quite a nice game I had as Black in that variation, along with the ideas there. Check it out. Anyway, onto today's subject.

The Alapin is actually a White setup, chosen by players (like me) who like to avoid the Open Sicilian theory, characterised by the move 1.e4 c5 2.c3. Actually, I like to enter the open Najdorf or Dragon and play 6.f4 lines in both, but ... my knowledge of those lines is actually non-existent, and I'm playing in my first OTB tournament since taking up chess a bit more seriously 3 years ago, in a week and a half's time. So ... I've been trialling out the Alapin variation for the past week or so, with the intent of using it in the tournament against Sicilian players. Here are some of the good points about the Alapin:

 - It's way less theoretical than the main line Open Sicilian stuff, which I simply don't have the time or inclination to dig into at the moment! You get to play chess.

 - It can lead to White getting a good position to go for a kingside attack, with a pawn wedge on e5, and a queen-bishop battery on the b1-h7 diagonal.

 - It doesn't hand Black opening equality by any means; not a comfotable ride for the Black player!

Actually I've been playing some nice games with it too. Here are a couple of attacking games I played, in both Black tried 2...e6 which I think is pretty innocuous and I got great positions! The other lines are slightly tougher, but have a look at these anyway.

So I was pretty safe throughout that game really; the next game is against a better opponent, and is a lot more dangerous and sharp! (Read also: more fun and satisfying to win!)

So I hope you enjoyed these games. Maybe try out the Alapin yourself, it's a nice attacking weapon in these circumstances. Thanks for reading!


  • 4 years ago


    Until I went through your games I hadn't thought of the Alapin as a particularly troublesome line for Black. Forewarned, I was better prepared when it was used against me last weekend in OTB play. As Black, I responded 2... Nf6 (why give White a solid centre and easy egress for his Q Kt) and in game 2 the (very) speculative 2...d4?!.  Result was 1.5 from 2 to Black - but more importantly I'll give it an outing as White when the opportunity arises. Thanks for the heads up. 

  • 4 years ago


    Ahaha, don't worry dude, I'm manning up and trying to learn the Yugoslav, will be attempting to take your Dragon down at some point soon ...

  • 4 years ago


    I'm lolling at finding this...

  • 4 years ago


    Nice!  as an alapin player, I'm happy I read this.  Now I have some interesting ideas on how to play against this d6 e6 a6 autopilot thing most sicilian players seem to like.

  • 4 years ago


    Cheers OfftheWall, it was a cute pattern, always when the king has a bishop orthogonally next to him he may be vulnerable to diagonal checks!

    Here's a complex one where my opponent was, I think, too obsessed with his idea of delaying castling and then not castling at all, keeping his king in the centre when it wasn't appropriate! I played a couple of nice sacrifices to bust it open.

  • 4 years ago


    Your Bg6-Qh6 at the end of the second game (and in the analysis) is a nice mating pattern. Kudos to finding that. I will be adding it to my list of Q+B mates.

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